June 5, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)

CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Oliver) speaking with reference to the Peace River Colonization Company, I think, misunderstood one point that I was making. He said that if the strict letter of the law was not absolutely fulfilled, it might not affect the settlement. I do not think it is so much the letter as the spirit of the bargain that we are interested in in the case of these concessions. The spirit of the concession was to bring to that north country repatriated Canadians and Canadians from other parts of the country. Taking up this Edmonton paper, the ' Clairion,' I see an article in the January and February number headed, ' Audacious attempt of American Land Corporation to capture a concession.' If the minister finds, on investigation, that this concession, granted for one object, is in danger of being captured by an American land corporation to be used for another purpose altogether, it seems to me it should have a very considerable bearing on the settlement of the case. This is a very valuable concession, when you come to look at it. The grant of 576 square miles means a grant of about 368,640 acres. Now, the condition upon which about half of this, or 176,620 acres could be purchased for $1 an acre on very long terms was that the company should put in, all told, 1,200 settlers as homestead; ers. If they can purchase this quantity of land for $1 an acre and sell it for $6 or $7 an acre, that means a million dollars of profit. We do not object to the company acquiring this million dollars of profit, if, in return for it, they fulfil the original idea of the company

viz., placing repatriated Canadians and Canadians from other provinces in that western country. But, if there is to be sold to an American syndicate a concession out of which a million dollars can be made, it seems to me it is about time that that sort of thing was brought to an end. So, I want to call the minister's attention to the fact that the spirit of the bargain which underlies this concession is quite as important as the letter.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   '9995 COMMONS
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